Jesus Ahead, by Larry Thacker
There’s a church of some denomination,
from mountain Catholics to Saturday night
snake-handlers, on every other corner of town.
It makes you wonder how such a diversely churched
place could crank out such a constant stream
of arrests from drugs, violence, and theft.
You find a perfect rendition of the cross
on a chipping back alley wall and photograph it.
Someone offers in their nicest Sunday morning voice,
See, the Savior’s everywhere, ain’t he?
On the way to photograph the destruction
of mountaintop removal and strip mining coal sites,
you pass a boulder with some religious graffiti,
Jesus is Coming? Are you Ready? which
at first makes you wonder if they meant around
that hairpin turn, or like the Rapture, and then
you start wondering which Commandment
evangelical vandalism might fall under. Or if it might
actually earn you extra points by some Old Testament
small print loophole.
Or would Jesus have
preferred the advertising been located in a better
marketing location rather than up on some ridge road
hardly anyone uses? Or whether the church
that rented the expensive “We need to talk – God”
signboard along Highway 25E might have
saved some money by using a few cans
of spray paint on a rock down near town?
Jesus ain’t saying, so we’re on our own, I guess.
Larry D. Thacker is a writer and artist. His poetry can be found in over ninety journals and magazines, including past issues of The Still Journal, Poetry South, Mad River Review, Mojave River Review, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Unbroken Journal, Broad River Review, Ghost City Press, Jazz Cigarette and Appalachian Heritage.